Cop 27: UAE says will supply oil, gas as long as needed

  • Market: Crude oil, Emissions, Natural gas
  • 07/11/22

UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan said today his country will continue to supply oil and gas "for as long as the world needs" it.

Speaking at the opening of the Cop 27 UN climate conference he said the UAE is considered as a responsible supplier of energy, and that "it will continue to play this role for as long as the world needs oil and gas."

The president's comment came after UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres said the war in Ukraine has "exposed the profound risks of our fossil fuel addiction" and called for an end to dependence on fossil fuels and the building of coal plants.

One of the largest holders of spare reserves within the Opec+ coalition, the UAE in 2018 set sights on raising its crude capacity from 3.5mn b/d to 5mn b/d by 2030. A source familiar with the matter indicates Abu Dhabi is now considering options to accelerate these plans. Argus estimates UAE production rose by 10,000 b/d on the month to 3.19mn b/d in September.

The UAE will host the Cop 28 UN climate summit next year, and the al-Nahyan reiterated the country was the first in the Middle East to set a target of becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2050. He also said the US and UAE have signed an agreement targeting $100bn of investments in energy transition projects. He stressed that oil and gas in the UAE is one of the least carbon intensive in the world, and that they will focus on lowering carbon emissions from this sector.

Opec+ officials have repeatedly championed a decarbonisation approach that employs fossil fuel resources until such a time that they can be fully substituted by clean energy supplies. The group has also repeatedly said consumers should not face pressure to relinquish hydrocarbon fuels if green options are unaffordable.

Coal, and fossil fuels in general, were directly targeted for the first time in a Cop text last year. But the global energy crisis has made the issue of gas as a transition fuel a flashpoint, with some African countries likely to ask for financial support to develop their resources and economies.

Nigeria environment minister Mohammed Abdullahi told Argus on the sidelines of the summit that gas is a transition fuel, and that developed nations cannot tell Africa not to develop their resources.

"The [US president Joe] Biden administration made a lot of investments in oil and gas in the last three years," he said.

Former US vice president Al Gore told the Cop 27 conference that global leaders now have a credibility problem, and said the "dash for gas in Africa is a dash for gas to be sent to wealthy countries".


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19/06/24

Iran's crude output at 3.6mn b/d, says oil minister

Iran's crude output at 3.6mn b/d, says oil minister

Dubai, 19 June (Argus) — Iran's crude output has risen to around 3.6mn b/d, according to the country's oil minister Javad Owji. This puts production at the highest level since sanctions were reimposed on Tehran's oil sector in 2018 following Washington's exit from the Iran nuclear deal. "Our oil production, which was 2.1mn b/d at the beginning of our time in office [in September 2021], has reached 3.6mn b/d," Owji said today during a presentation to the Iranian parliament. "During these three years… with round-the-clock work and effort, production of crude oil in the country rose by more than 1.4mn b/d," he said. "A major part of that increase came through signing investment contracts with [domestic] contractors." When the administration of Iran's late president Ebrahim Raisi assumed office, Iran's crude exports were at their lowest level in a decade, Owji added. Owji's current production figure is 200,000 b/d above where he put Iranian crude output in November last year . At that time, he predicted a rise to 3.6mn b/d by March 2024, continuing an upward trend since the back end of 2022. In July last year, Owji put output at just shy of 3.1mn b/d. His latest assessment is around 300,000 b/d above Argus' estimate for both April and May . The last time Argus estimated Iranian crude output as high as 3.6mn b/d was back in July 2018. The rebound in production has been driven by Iran's ability to boost its exports. Iranian exports began picking up in the months after US president Joe Biden assumed office in January 2021, reaching around 700,000-750,000 b/d compared with 500,000 b/d before the US election. It was not until the second half of 2022 that exports took another leap, to 1mn b/d and beyond. Iran's crude exports have averaged just shy of 1.6mn b/d since the start of this year, according to data from Vortexa, up from 1.42mn b/d in 2023 and 990,000 b/d in 2022. The reasons for the revival in exports have been the subject of much debate, with some attributing it to more relaxed enforcement of sanctions by the US and others saying it has more to do with Iran scaling up its methods of circumvention. The debate even became a point of contention among Iranian presidential candidates this week as they gear up for the country's election on 28 June. Conservative candidates and even regime hardliners largely attribute the boost in exports to methods of circumvention. "Constructive and extensive relations with the world are required for [improving] the economy. This happened during the tenure of martyr Raisi. Now the US foreign secretary must explain to the [US] Senate why Iran can sell 2mn b/d of oil now," former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said on 15 June. Raisi administration officials have repeatedly pointed to their techniques to get around sanctions and "energy diplomacy" as reasons for Iran's success in raising exports. But the reformist camp refutes those claims, with former foreign minister Javad Zarif rejecting the conservative narrative on state television on 18 June. "They [hardliners] said 'we taught them how to sell oil.' Not at all," Zarif said. "When Biden took office, his policy was to loosen the screw. Wait until Trump returns to office, and then we can see what [the hardliners] say." By Bachar Halabi and Nader Itayim Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Australian opposition releases nuclear power plan


19/06/24
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19/06/24

Australian opposition releases nuclear power plan

Sydney, 19 June (Argus) — Australia's main political opposition today laid out its nuclear energy plan. It aims to bring the first government-owned reactors on line as early as 2035-37 if it is elected next year. The Liberal-National coalition announced seven locations where small modular reactors (SMRs) or large-scale units could be installed, all in sites hosting coal-fired power facilities that have either closed or are scheduled to close, and each of them would have cooling water capacity and transmission infrastructure. A SMR could start generating electricity by 2035, while a larger plant could come on line by 2037, according to the coalition. "The Australian government will own these assets, but form partnerships with experienced nuclear companies to build and operate them," the opposition's leader Peter Dutton, spokesman for climate change and energy Ted O'Brien and National party leader David Littleproud said in a joint statement on 19 June. The opposition claims the federal Labor government's "renewables-only approach" is expensive and is "failing", while its target of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 43pc by 2030 has become "unachievable". The coalition earlier this month said it would not pursue the target, although it declined to set its own 2030 goal for GHG emissions cuts . Federal energy minister Chris Bowen said the coalition's plan lacked detail, costs or modelling, although the opposition has vowed to engage with local communities while site studies, including detailed technical and economic assessments, take place. The proposed sites are the Liddell and Mount Piper plants in New South Wales; the Tarong and Callide stations in Queensland; the Loy Yang facility in Victoria; the Northern Power station in South Australia; and the Muja plant in Western Australia. Nuclear power generation is prohibited in Australia under federal and state laws, and the Labor government last year ruled out legalising it because of its high costs. The Australian federal government estimates that replacing Australia's coal-fired plants with nuclear would cost A$387bn ($257bn) . The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) late last year said SMRs would not have "any major role" in emission cuts needed in the electricity sector for the country to reach its net zero GHG emissions target by 2050, as costs would be well above those for onshore wind and solar photovoltaic (PV). Nuclear plants would also take 15 years or more to be deployed because of lengthy periods for certification, planning and construction, CSIRO noted. CSIRO last month included large-scale nuclear costs for the first time in its annual GenCost report, saying costs would be lower than those for SMRs but still way above renewables. Estimated costs between A$136-226/MWh could be reached by 2040, compared with A$171-366/MWh for SMRs and A$144-239/MWh for coal-fired power with carbon capture and storage (CCS), but only if Australia committed to a "continuous nuclear building programme", requiring an initial investment in a higher cost unit. "If a decision to pursue nuclear in Australia were made in 2025, with political support for the required legislative changes, then the first full operation would be no sooner than 2040," CSIRO noted. By Juan Weik Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Gas necessary for Asia, unwise not to invest: Summit


19/06/24
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19/06/24

Gas necessary for Asia, unwise not to invest: Summit

Singapore, 19 June (Argus) — Asia's LNG market faces many uncertainties, but not continuing to invest in it would be unwise as it is necessary for economic growth, said speakers at the Association of Energy Negotiators' International Energy Summit in Bangkok, Thailand last week. Many countries are increasingly focusing on batteries and renewables as part of their energy transition plans to move away from fossil fuels, but batteries are still far from being commercially attractive from a cost perspective, said Andrew Kirk, vice-president of origination, LNG at conglomerate B Grimm. Batteries may be able to provide a stable solution to the intermittency challenges posed by renewables in some regions, but wealthier countries are failing to acknowledge that developing countries cannot accept the higher costs involved, as well as the massively daunting task of building and installing the required capacity, he said. "We have to separate the aspirational from the unachievable," said Kirk. There is already instability resulting from gas shortages even in more developed economies such as Australia, where the Australian Energy Market Operator has projected a shortage in southern states. The federal government has confirmed the need for a pro-upstream approach in its future gas strategy , and intends to bring on line new gas supplies and make them affordable during the transition. "The timeline we have given ourselves is starting to look disorderly," said Kirk, with reference to net zero targets. Advancements and breakthroughs in battery technology will be made, but the timeframe for this cannot be defined. If policymakers do not consider reversing declining gas production, the next 10-15 years will create more geopolitical uncertainty, he said. Billions of dollars have been spent on current energy systems, said Steve Morrell, senior vice-president of ExxonMobil PNG LNG, adding that it would make more sense to put more gas into the system considering the higher cost of moving to renewables, he added. "Just by replacing coal [with gas], we'll see a 60pc decrease in emissions without any need for breakthrough technologies." said Morrell. If too much emphasis is placed on renewable energy, this will also lead to declining investment in finding new oil and gas resources, said the executive director of the Petroleum Institute of Thailand, Kurujit Nakornthap, which could lead to energy shortages and more volatile energy prices. "The stone age [ended] not because we ran out of stone, so the oil age is not going to [end] because we're running out of oil," said Nakornthap, paraphrasing a famous quote by ex-Saudi oil minister Sheikh Zaki Yamani. 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Secondly, the affordability of low-emission LNG may be an issue because some markets are unable to afford the extra costs when they are struggling to even move from a coal to gas-based market. Thirdly, SPAs will evolve and contracts must change to become more flexible. So buyers and sellers need to "act in good faith", said Kirk. But governments and regulators can slow down developments, which can be frustrating for suppliers, said Morrell. There needs to be a realisation that the consumer is paying for incentives and subsidies that the government provides, he said, adding that discussions should move away from 3–5-year political cycles and look at 20 years in the future. By Prethika Nair Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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New Zealand's carbon credit auction fails to clear


19/06/24
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19/06/24

New Zealand's carbon credit auction fails to clear

Sydney, 19 June (Argus) — New Zealand's second quarterly carbon allowance auction of 2024 failed to clear today, with no bids because prices in the secondary market have been below the regulated auction price floor of NZ$64 ($39). A total of 4,075,700 New Zealand emissions units (NZUs) were left unsold, including 550,700 remaining from the previous auction in March, which sold 2,974,300 units out of the 3,525,000 offered. No company participated in the 19 June auction, which compares with 16 in the previous sale. This was the first time that no bids were received since the auctions started in 2021. All available units will be rolled over to the next auction on 4 September. The secondary market closed at NZ$49 on 18 June, the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX) and European Energy Exchange (EEX) — which jointly operate the country's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) auction — disclosed on 19 June. Prices fell below NZ$45 and neared one-year lows at the end of May, then recovered to around NZ$55 in early June before falling back again, according to data from trading platforms emsTradepoint, CommTrade and Carbon Match. Policy uncertainty and an increasing oversupply have been affecting NZU prices in recent months. New Zealand's government has until September to decide whether it will follow advice from the country's Climate Change Commission (CCC) to reduce auction volumes to address the oversupply. "If there is no announcement on CCC recommendations before the September auction then that will also likely see no sales," said NZX-listed investment fund Carbon Fund's managing director Paul Harrison. All auctions of 2023 failed, with a total of 23mn unsold units being cancelled as a result. By Juan Weik Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Mexico GHG program still in limbo: MexiCO2


18/06/24
News
18/06/24

Mexico GHG program still in limbo: MexiCO2

Houston, 18 June (Argus) — Despite Mexico's election of a new president with a background in climate science, it is not clear if the new leadership will revive a stalled national emission trading system (ETS), according to one of the country's top carbon market advocates. President-elect Claudia Sheinbaum, the candidate for the ruling Morena party, won the 2 June election to succeed President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. But it is unclear, ahead of her inauguration on 1 October where Sheinbaum will land on wrangling the emissions program and the country's climate commitments and goals, says Eduardo Piquero, chief executive of MexiCO2, a carbon market advocate and a subsidiary of Mexico's stock exchange. "The only hint we've had so far is during some presidential debates, she mentioned she was very keen on climate change and was going to act on Mexico's commitment," Piquero said. Mexico launched a pilot ETS in 2020, with plans to launch a formal national program in 2022. The pilot-phase covered facilities in the energy and industrial sectors that emitted more than 100,000 metric tonnes of CO2 per year, which received allowances at no cost. More than two years after the expected launch of a national market, a formal rollout remains in limbo, primarily because of a lack of action by the government under López Obrador, who Piquero credits with dismantling much of the program along with Mexican environment ministry Semarnat, which oversaw the program. Putting the program and Semarnat back together could take between 2-3 years, Piquero says. Sheinbaum, the former mayor of Mexico City and a climate scientist, has not yet said what her plans are, if any, for a federal emissions trading scheme. A federal ETS will also require new legislation, given the pilot expired after 36 months, and regulators will need to convince major covered participants such as state-owned oil and gas company Pemex and power producer CFE to take part in the official program. The government will also need to reconcile how the ETS will work with the country's state and local programs, such as state carbon taxes in Durango, Guanajuato, San Luis Potosi, Querétaro, Zacatecas, Tamaulipas, and Estado de México, along with others in-development. Currently, Mexico has a goal of a 35pc reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 from a 2000 baseline. Despite a lack of policy specifics, Sheinbaum pledged to deliver on commitments of her predecessor for items like infrastructure development in southeast Mexico for new natural gas and gas-fired power generation — moves that may not support resumption of the ETS and limiting the nation's emissions. "The only way Mexico can measure and control its emissions is through an ETS," Piquero said. Sheinbaum is set to announce government appointments this week, which would include her choice to head Semarnat, a choice that will color discussions on the future for the ETS program. Piquero expects the job will go to one of two candidates: Marina Robles García, secretary of the environment of Mexico City, or Jose Luis Samaniego, a division chief with the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. By Denise Cathey Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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